Minnesota has a whole lot going for it. We have dozens of gorgeous state parks, the North Shore, and more than 10,000 glorious lakes – and that’s just getting started. This great state has spawned many great ideas. Those ideas have provided entertainment, dressed the masses, saved lives, and more. Here are 13 priceless gifts that Minnesota gave to the world.
Yeah, maybe it's not the most popular food in the world. But Spam has its place on some dinner tables - and in every Minnesotan's heart. Ask yourself this question: are you
really a Minnesotan if you haven't made a pilgrimage to the Spam Museum in Austin?
2. Oregon Trail.
Every 90s kid's favorite game? Yeah, it came from Minnesota. Three Minnesotans invented the game in 1971, and it is still beloved to this day. So you can thank Minnesota for all those times your friends and family died of dysentery.
3. Tonka Trucks.
Tonka was founded in Mound, Minnesota, and likely named for Lake Minnetonka. These heavy-duty trucks are classic toys, and we'd be willing to bet that more than a few people outside Minnesota played with one growing up.
4. Water skiing.
For when cruising around in a speedboat isn't extreme enough, try water skiing. The first water skier - on Lake Pepin in 1922 - used a clothes line and a couple of old boards for his first ride. We're glad the technology has improved a bit since then.
5. Honeycrisp apples.
That's right, the world's best apple comes from Minnesota. It was released in 1991 and is now one of the most popular apple varieties. Yum.
Another 90s phenomenon, these loud pants were created in 1988. While they may never reach the popularity they had back then, they have made a comeback in recent years. Why argue with comfort?
7. Magnetic Poetry.
If you're a lunchtime poet, magnetic poetry has probably been a blessing for you. No longer do you have to toil over a notebook. Since Magnetic Poetry came out in 1993, it's never been easier to write between bites. All you have to do is rearrange a couple of words to create your own masterpiece.
8. Indoor shopping malls.
More specifically, climate-controlled shopping malls. Before the first one opened in Edina in 1956, outdoor malls were more common. With the advent of online shopping, malls may decline again in the future. But Minnesota will always have this claim to fame, our greatest example being the Mall of America.
9. Greyhound buses.
A lot of people don't know that Greyhound got its start way up in northern Minnesota. The first route began in Hibbing in 1914, and the buses have carried millions of passengers since. If you've ever taken a long bus ride across America, chances are you have Greyound - and Minnesota - to thank.
The best inventions solve a problem. Given our problem of seemingly endless winters in Minnesota, it only makes sense that Minnesotans perfected this innovative way of crossing the city. Today, Minneapolis is home to the longest continuous skyway in the world, spanning nearly 80 blocks and 8 miles.
11. Microwave popcorn.
Forever changing the way we watch movies at home, a version of it was patented by Minnesota-based General Mills in 1981. These days many more brands are in on giving people buttery microwaved goodness at home, but it was the Minnesota brand that started it all.
12. Open-heart surgery.
The first successful open-heart surgery was performed at the University of Minnesota in 1952. Since then, countless lives have been saved by the procedure.
You may think you love Target, but Minnesota loves it more. Rarely does a week go by without at least one stop to everyone's favorite retail store. And we know that goes for many other people across the United States as well. In short: you're welcome.